Team USA Has Strongest Finish At Paralympic Games In Recent History

By Beth Bourgeois | Sept. 18, 2016, 11:16 a.m. (ET)
(l-r) Amanda McGrory, Tatyana McFadden and Chelsea McClammer swept the podium twice during Team USA's 115-medal haul at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Team USA wrapped up the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 19, having completed its most successful performances at the Games in recent history. The team of 289 athletes won a total of 115 medals, and finished fourth in the overall medal count. 

Below are some of the highlights of the outstanding U.S. athlete and team performances in Rio.

  • Team USA's haul of 115 medals marks the most won by the U.S. team since the 1996 Games in Atlanta (158). 
  • The U.S. women won more than half of Team USA's medals, with 70 medals, including 24 gold, 24 silver and 21 bronze. 
  • Most decorated athletes: For the U.S. women, Tatyana McFadden, track & field, and Jessica Long, swimming, both won six medals a piece. McFadden won four gold and two silver medals and Jessica Long won three silver medals, two bronze and a gold. In men's competition, Brad Snyder, swimming, won the most U.S. medals with three gold and a silver.  
  • Team USA swept the podium three times – in two different sports. The track & field trio of Tatyana McFadden, Chelsea McClammer and Amanda McGrory claimed the top three spots in the T54 1,500 and 5,000-meter finals. In the debut of paratriathlon, Allysa Seely, Hailey Danisewicz and Melissa Stockwell swept the medals in the women's PT2 classification. 
  • Grace Norman won gold in paratriathlon and bronze in track and field, with her two medal winning races coming less than 36 hours apart. 
  • U.S. athletes set a total of eight world records in Rio, six in the pool, with three of them made by Rebecca Meyers. The other two WRs were in track & field by athletes David Blair and Rachael Morrison. 
  • The U.S. Paralympic Cycling Team won the most ever medals at a Games, with a total of 18 podium finishes.
  • Firsts in Rio  
    • First time since 2004 that the men's and women's teams both reached the podium in goalball; the U.S. men won silver, while the women's team brought home the bronze. Incidentally, both teams finished in the same spots on the podium back in 2004. 
    • It was the first time since 1996 that both the men's and women's teams reached the podium in basketball – both winning gold. 
    • The men's win in basketball marked the first time since 1988 – or 28 years - that the U.S. men's wheelchair basketball team won a gold medal.  
  • Military veteran athletes also made their presence known in Rio. The following military veterans, including one active duty service member, had performances in Rio that resulted in a total of 16 medals:  
    • Army Sergeant Elizabeth Marks, swimming - gold, 100m breaststroke SB7; bronze, 4x100m medley relay – 34 pts. 
    • Army veteran Kari Miller, women's sitting volleyball – gold 
    • Army veteran Shawn Morelli, cycling – gold, 3000m individual pursuit C4; gold, time trial C4 
    • Army veteran Scot Severn, track & field – silver, F53 shot put 
    • Army veteran Melissa Stockwell, paratriathlon – bronze, women's PT2 
    • Marine Corps veteran Oz Sanchez, cycling – silver, mixed team relay H2; bronze, time trial H5 
    • Navy veteran Will Groulx, cycling – gold, road race H2; silver, time trial H2; and silver, mixed team relay H2 
    • Navy veteran Brad Snyder, swimming –gold, 50 free S11; gold, 100m free S11; gold, 100m free S11; and silver, 100m back S11 
    • Navy veteran Andre Shelby, archery – gold, men's individual compound open